Sustainability Education: Recycling vs. Upcycling

A collection of upcycled vases with plants.

Over the past decade, the process of recycling has become the ubiquitous practice all over the world. No wonder that the idea of processing various materials, which are no longer needed, and thus turning them into completely new products has proved to be very successful. In such a way people can contribute not only to the environment and its protection but also to building a strong community with right values.

Why Opt for Recycling?

First and foremost, because its benefits are boundless. Let’s cover the chief ones.

You may know that recycling considerably reduces the quantity of waste, which is a top priority issue in today’s world. Also, it helps to preserve natural resources, including water. Probably, in this regard, there is no need to point out that it fosters countries’ economic security too.

Furthermore, recycling helps to combat plastic, air and water pollution as it reduces the necessity to accumulate raw materials. Undeniably, energy saving is a highly important asset among others. On the very top of the list there is the endorsement of the manufacturing industry. And the last but not least is, of course, creating employment opportunities.

Did you know that such products as boxes, cartons, newspapers, cans, glass, etc. can be made with recycled content? Due to the significant development in recycling technology, mankind has plenty of options, perhaps more than ever before, which is definitely a very positive shift since it gives us an exceptional chance to conserve a variety of resources. In case you want to expand on the subject at hand or any other relevant topic, service is at your assistance.

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Obviously, there are a lot of recycling campaigns that aim to spread information about recycling itself, its numerous favorable effects as well as perspectives of its further implementation. The overall message is very clear. By and large, recycling is easy, even the very cursory knowledge can give you the general outline of the whole picture and change the world for the better.

A green recycling symbol highlighting the earth.
recycle planet

However, despite its global spread and indisputable utility, unfortunately, its potential is not fully used. But in the 21st century, it is essential to incorporate recycling into everyday life. That is why sharing information is the key element to change the status quo. Recycling should become a standard social norm in the near future. The sooner the better, for sure. And that is a tremendous challenge after all. Nevertheless, it is worth it!

Are you aware of so-called recycling rules? These guidelines might help you to avoid many mistakes. For instance, the most useful one is the following: buying recycled products. At least, do the research and support companies which are eco-friendly. The good thing is that these days it is possible to find a plethora of recycled items ranged from paper to furniture. Make sure you choose what to buy consciously. And make it your top priority.

A group of colorful recycling bins showcasing various recycled items.
Colored trash bins for recycle paper, plastic, glass and metal isolated on white background.

Upcycling: What Does It Stand For?

Have you ever made shirts from your favorite pair of jeans? Or a table from a wooden door? Well, these are great examples of upcycling. And, as you may have already guessed, this concept differs from recycling a lot. Anyway, it is critical to know both terms and their meanings. Upcycling doesn’t involve breaking down any material to make something new in comparison with recycling. The former implies refashioning, or more accurately, redoing items, thus, conserving their original quality.

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On the other side of the spectrum, as we have mentioned above, recycling does involve breaking down different consumer materials in order to make a totally new object, and in the wake of this process we get a bit worse quality. Perhaps the difference in quality is the main characteristic that highlight an acute dissimilarity and contrast between them.

As a matter of fact, upcycling is certainly not a new practice. People with limited financial resources upcycled various products centuries ago. What was old became brand-new (or almost new)! Nowadays we observe the rise of upcycling. As usual, the history repeats itself.

Although the choice is more environmentally-oriented, it isn’t constrained by financial dire straits. It is much more than that because a lot of people are eco-friendly and promote sustainable living. That being said, ponder about items, which you thought were destined for the dump. Could you remake them? Most likely, the answer will be “Yes”. In addition, the final outcome might surpass your expectations. Eventually, who knows? Note that upcycling is not restricted just to apparel. One can upcycle almost everything, for example, tires, glass bottles, and the list goes on.

Upcycled wine bottle vases with plants and candles.
upcycling bottles

So, probably there is no use to choose the only option as it makes sense to support both movements. Opt for recycling and upcycling. This adventure might be exciting. In any case, it is one hundred percent rewarding venture for you, for our planet Earth and for future generations as well. Let’s make our world a good place to live in sharing our knowledge and experience here and now!

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